HSV Reviews

Holden Special Vehicles was formed in 1987 when Holden and Tom Walkinshaw Racing joined forces to produce a range of high-performance vehicles based on mainstream Holden models. With enhanced engines, upgraded suspensions and brakes, and sporty style inside and out HSV cars deliver a macho blend of tough looks and high performance. The Gen-F, based on the VF Commodore range, consists of the ClubSport, ClubSport R8, ClubSport R8 Tourer, Maloo Ute, Maloo R8 Ute, GTS, Senator Signature, and the luxury Grange.

The only thing more mind-boggling than putting a race-ready supercharged V8 in a humble workhorse ute is the effect the utterly brutal acceleration has on your skull. The HSV GTS Maloo is the world's fastest ute but even when you have an idea what to expect, nothing truly prepares you for full thrust. It is so quick my brain can barely comprehend what's happening. It is fast forward in real life, with a V8 Supercar...Read more
The spectacular demise of Peter Brock's HDT Special Vehicles in the wake of his infamous bust-up with Holden left a gaping chasm in the performance car market that was never going to be left unfilled for long. Brock had shown for all to see that there was a demand for cars that had a little more performance and panache than the regular production models could offer. His retuned and restyled Commodores instantly struck a chord...Read more
If capped priced servicing sounds like cheating, modern car design is just too damned homogenous to your eyes, then some left-field classics might get the blood pumping. Trawling the darkened depths of the Carsguide website found some interesting old - and some not so old – “time” machines on the market. For the price of a mid-spec four-cylinder small car there are vehicles on the market that stand well apart from the shopping-trolley crowd. As...Read more
Sermon on the Mount Cometh October and verily did the pilgrims converge upon the sacred Mount where on was preached the sermon of the bent eights. Congregate did the disciples of the Blue Oval and Red Lion sects at this holy place; there to cast empty drink vessels at the unbelievers and to light pyres of sacrificial chariots. And at day's end, when one tribe's champion had smote mightily the other, the believers and philistines...Read more
Something like "$85,000 is well below the going rate for a senator's signature, isn't it?" is too easy, inaccurate (in sentiment as well as market rate, we hope). The fully-loaded Senator sits $5000 below the more-tastily named Grange long-wheelbase flagship and is less overt than the slightly more-powerful (and $1000 more expensive) GTS, but still oozes musclebound presence. VALUE The HSV Senator Signature asks for $83,990, which in the world of prestige motoring buys you...Read more
It's not as though there's a lack of quick moving imported status symbols between $80-90K. Consider the top spec of the rapid and smart Lexus IS350 V6, a C-Class Merc also with a V6, a beautifully balanced BMW 3 Series with a straight six and an Audi A4 with a neatly blown four. Then, like blinged up brickies, there are those Strayan muscle car aristocrats with their bellicose V8s, Ford's FPV and this, the latest...Read more
For once, more power isn't part of the latest update to HSV 's range. The E3/WM3 models instead pick up exterior and interior refinements, headed by a sophisticated infotainment package and an optional LPG injection system that cuts fuel use without any affect on performance. It's good on the regular Holdens and so much fun it's dangerous on the HSV variants. Why dangerous? Because the temptation to look down at the centre console display -...Read more
THE homegrown V8 power war has been ceded to FPV. Instead of increasing power for the new HSV E Series 3, the performance car company has chosen to fit a range of hi-tech electronic gadgetry to its E3 models, offer dual gas/petrol power, increase the price by up to $1000 and give it a facelift. So the HSV range stays with the 317kW/550Nm 6.2-litre V8 (GTS and Grange are 325kW), while FPV will this week...Read more
The VQ Statesman saw the return of the long wheelbase models to the Holden range after an absence of six years. Holden was emerging from a troubled period where it was in real danger of failing. Were it not for a massive rescue package by GM head office in Detroit in 1986 Holden may well have gone out of business. The rescue, along with some clever local planning that resulted in the VN Commodore in...Read more
HSV had plenty to live up to when it was formed back in the late-1980s, following as it did the legacy established by Peter Brock’s HDT Special Vehicles. Brock had weaved his magic on a series of mundane Holdens and created cars deserving of the “special” tag. Brock’s cars are now very collectable and gaining in value. Despite lacking the Brock name HSV has established its own niche in the market and has a strong...Read more
John Harvey took a huge risk when he decided in 1990, in the absence of his boss, John Crennan, to back his judgement and order a batch of cars from Holden for the first run of ClubSports HSV built. Thankfully for Harvey, whose position as HSV’s Marketing and Public Affairs Manager was on the line, his audacious move proved to be a master stroke and the ClubSport has gone on to become HSV’s top selling...Read more
That's despite sitting slap-bang in the middle of the nation's knife-edge economy, diminishing disposable income, plummeting large car sales and soaring petrol prices. Last year it sold 5222 cars, up 42 per cent on the previous year — and a long way north of the 421 sales it made 20 years ago, in its first year of trading. HSV managing director Scott Grant says his company was bucking the big-car sales spiral. “Our customer order...Read more
Both HSV and FPV have stuck bigger numbers on their hero cars. The launch this week of HSV's 6.2-litre LS3 V8 gives the General both a capacity and a power advantage over its Blue Oval rival — and FPV's general manager Rod Barrett couldn't care less. “There is no power war ... at least as far as we are concerned,” Barrett declared at the launch of the FG Falcon-based FPV range this week when the...Read more
Theoretically, HSV making a four-cylinder car is like AC/DC releasing an unplugged album. It wouldn't sound right, it would look stupid and have bogans up in tattooed arms. And yet, as unimaginable as it seemed a few short years ago, it's happened in the form of the VXR otherwise known as an Astra that looks as though it's dressed up to go on Gladiators (that show where lycra-clad muscleheads would hit each other with giant...Read more
Elfin, which produced the two Holden V8-powered club racer models that debuted at the 2004 Melbourne motor show, is set to ramp up production after it was sold to performance-car king Tom Walkinshaw. Plans are under way for the MS8 Streamliner and MS8 Clubman sports cars to be sold through some HSV dealers and for up to 100 cars a year to be built at the company's Melbourne factory. Walkinshaw Performance chief executive Chris Payne...Read more